Jack By D.I. Jolly

It was late when Jack arrived in Amsterdam; he took his bag from the overhead locker and smiled at the hosts as he disembarked the plane. He took the train into the city and walked to the nearest hotel. He smiled again at the woman behind the counter.

“I don’t have a reservation but I’d like to know if there is a room available for tonight.”

She smiled back and showed him a short price list. He looked it over very briefly and pointed to the single room.

“This will be all I need thank you.”

“And just for one night?”

“Yes please.”

She gave him the brief rundown of the room, the mini bar costs, check out and breakfast while loading his key card. He waited until she was done before declining breakfast and took himself off to his room, where he laid out his clothes for the next day and went to bed.

In the morning he woke early as usual and following a long hot shower he sat at the little desk in the room, pulling out a little pocket watch which he laid it on the table, and then he waited. Hours past as he sat there, not fidgeting or walking around, just sitting waiting. His mind clear of all thoughts. Suddenly his watch stuck a tone and he stood up quickly, grabbed his bag and left the room. He handed in his card at the front desk and headed out into the city. It was the start of spring and although not especially warm, the sun was shining and it was pleasant. He didn’t walk at any great speed or with any preserved purpose but he knew exactly where he was going. He soon found himself a pleasant café where he took a seat inside, ordered himself some coffee and again waited. As his coffee arrived another man walked in looking a little rushed and tired. He looked down at Jack and for a moment stared enviously at his coffee. Jack smiled in reply.

“If you’re in a rush you’re welcome to it. I have nothing more to do today and so have the time to wait for more.”

“I…I beg your pardon?”

“My coffee, it’s only just arrived and you seem to be having a much busier day than I am.”

The man stared at him in shock and wasn’t sure what to do so Jack pushed the cup across the table towards him.

“Please, be my guest. Random acts of kindness are a hobby of mine so I insist. It should be perfect drinking temperature and there are some free tables outside, you can use the spare few minutes you have from waiting to just enjoy today’s sunshine.”

Still in shock, the man reached down and picked up the cup.

“That’s, that’s incredibly kind of you sir, thank you very much. But please can I at least pay for it?”

“No, no, it’s my gift to you. Just enjoy it. That will be repayment enough.”

The man didn’t know what to do, he’d heard stories of strange things like this happening but didn’t fully believe they actually happened, lest of all to him. He reached out and hand and Jack shook it, then he went out and sat at a small table in the sun, sipped his coffee and smiled. Jack smiled to himself and ordered a new coffee and a slice of cake. As his work was now done he too would enjoy the morning.

When the man had finished the coffee he popped his head back inside and thanked Jack again before hurrying back out onto the street. Jack waved and smiled and watched him walk off. Once his own coffee and cake were finished he paid the bill and left, walking off in the same direction the man had gone. Later that afternoon he caught the train back to the airport and a plane back home.

In the morning, after a long hot shower, Jack slowly headed into town, stopping only to buy a newspaper from a stand outside the tallest building in the city. The man at the stand smiled and greeted him kindly and Jack smiled in reply. He then walked into the building and ignoring security let himself in with a key card, which also unlocked the buildings private elevator. He rode it to the top floor and as it opened he found himself standing in a massive office. He walked past the bookshelves up to the main desk and handed the newspaper to the man sitting there before sitting down. The man behind the desk glanced at the headline which read,

‘CEO suffers fatal heart attack while in Amsterdam’

He let his eyes glance over the rest of the article seeing that although authorities hadn’t ruled out the possibility that drugs were involved, it was believed that it would have been an accident or something that had accelerated an undiagnosed condition. He put the paper on the table and looked at Jack who smiled.

“How do you do it?”

“Patience, the trick is patience.”

“And look at you, you just killed a man who was on the verge of becoming one of the richest most influential men alive and nothing, you don’t look nervous or stressed or anything.”

Jack smiled again.

“I wouldn’t be very good at my job if I did now would I?”

“Did you even lose sleep over it?”

“Would it make you feel better if I did?”

“I don’t know… maybe… It’s just scary to think that even after all the work we’ve done together I still feel like you’d come after me without any feeling either.”

“And yet you still freely accept items that I hand to you in an office with no cameras and such limited access that it would take a week before anyone could get clearance to look for you here if you suddenly went missing.”

The man paled visibly as he looked down at the newspaper and his hands began to shack violently. Jack smiled in reply and then sighed.

“I think actually I will miss you.”

“But, but there are cameras in all the hallway and at the entrance that would have seen you come into my office.”

Jack smiled,

“There are supposed to be, but there aren’t.”

“Bu-but, I saw you touch the same newspaper?”

“I’m immune.”

The man lunged for the phone on his desk but seeing Jack not move made him even more scared.

“Scheduled maintenance on the phone lines this morning, no phone or internet for the next hour.”

He then pulled his cell phone from his pocket and stared at it with defeat in his eyes. Jack pulled a small device from his own pocket.

“Disrupts mobile phone signals.”

“How?”

“You know I’m not sure, I think it creates a mirror signal that bounces the satellite signals back.”

“NOT THAT!”

“Oh, oh you mean how did I manage to organise all these things for just this moment? Like I said, patience.”

The man looked at Jack for a few seconds then looked passed him at the elevator then back at Jack and started mapping out how he might get passed him and try escape. Just then Jacks watch went off in his pocket and the lights in the building shut off.

“Oh dear, it looks like the maintenance people have accidentally cut the power to the building. You should have had an emergency stairway installed on this floor.”

Tears ran down the man’s face and he felt a sharp pain suddenly grip his chest.

“I don’t understand how you can do this. How you make all these things happen in your favour and how you can just sit there and smile at me watching me die.”

“You’re not the first person to ask me that, and I can’t imagine you’ll be the last. Knowing what makes it any easier. In fact the only thing that will is sweet tea or coffee. Something with caffeine in it, but unfortunately the backup generator is malfunctioning so unless you’ve got a thermos you’re out of luck. But it’ll be painless, that I promise.”

The man stared on in horror at the man who just smiled back at him calmly and his fear turned to rage and he launched himself across the desk at him. Jack quickly stood and stepped out of the way.

“Now, now, there is no need for that.”

The man rolled and pulled a gun from his jacket and pointed it at Jack.

“Oh yeah, so what’s your great master plan for this?”

The man pulled the trigger and watched as the bullets passed through Jack and hit the wall behind him. Jack looked down at where the holes should have been, then looked back at the man. For the first time, he thought Jacks smile seemed strange, to wide somehow. Slowly as he stared he became aware that Jack’s face wasn’t a face at all but a skull, hidden beneath a black hood and he wasn’t as afraid as he had been.

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